Not just anyone can be a great caregiver. It is rare to meet someone who extends their unwavering support, relentless motivation and dedication to lift others, but these superhumans exist! And we are glad that some of them have found their way to the Serengeti Care Team!
Jeri “Apanakhi” , seamed her life together through adventure and literature. From leaving home at a young age to learn Russian and study in Australia to becoming a university professor and Native American historical fantasy writer. She lived life to the fullest.
This all changed after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and a stroke paralyzed half of her body.
Unable to walk and waiting to die, for nearly a year Apanakhi laid in bed on the first floor of her two-bedroom home that only allows sunlight to creep down through the stairwell a few feet from her. For months she longed to be able to walk up the stairs to her writing space, library and collection of most valuable memories, but was unable to do so. What once was an effortless task now seemed like a perilous journey.
Sierra, one of Serengeti’s care giver’s started working with Apanakhi. She gave her no room to let a terminal illness diagnoses prevent her from enjoying the life she had left in her. “You better live your life to the fullest while you are still breathing and walk up those stairs, your life’s not over yet” Sierra began saying to Apanakhi. Eventually Apanahki began to believe this too, and the two of them started leg strengthening exercising and pushing Apanakhi’s psychical endurance slowly each day.
One day Sierra was holding on to her as they took small steps inching their way up the stair well from one step to the next. They neared the middle of the stairs when she stopped, not wanting to move forward out of fear of falling. Sierra didn’t take no for an answer and they kept on going. When Apanakhi took her last steps from the stairs to the library, they looked at each other and began sobbing. She was back in place that heldo so many of memories and emotions that had been out of sight for too long.
“Sierra gave me something to live for”, Apanakhi says and she breaks into tears and recalls the day she stepped foot into her library after being unable to do so for a year. Since then, Apanakhi has been empowered to do the things she loves so much. On sunny days she strolls along her patio and the sidewalk. She’s even got some fresh greens budding life in the garden!
This is only one example of the endless untold stories about how relationships are built between clients and caregivers to achieve the unthinkable. Thank you Sierra for being persistent, never giving up on your clients and lifting the spirits of those who are unable to do so on their own.